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Telematics for Libraries - Projects


Updated: 22 NOV 99
Project Number and Title
5672 - Developing the European digital library for economics
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
FP 4/ B 4-5 bis February 1998 30

Keywords : access control; copyright; current awareness services; digital library; distributed library services; document access/delivery (electronic); licensing; SR/Z39.50; World Wide Web

blue bullet Additional information is available from the DECOMATE II website . (

blue bullet A public version of the Decomate II Baseline Release is available at:

Action Line

Action line B: Telematics applications for interconnected library services

Call Topic(s)

4-5 bis: Distributed library services

Project description

DECOMATE II is developing an end-user service that provides access to heterogeneous information resources distributed over different libraries in Europe, using a uniform interface, leading to a working demonstrator of the European Digital Library for Economics. The project expands on the results achieved in the successful FP3 DECOMATE project (more information available at: ), which created a service for end-user access, through individual libraries, to copyright materials distributed by publishers in electronic form. DECOMATE II includes personalised user services and enhanced techniques for knowledge navigation.

Technical approach

DECOMATE II covers heterogeneous materials, i.e. copyright and non-copyright materials of different types and formats, and distributed access techniques, i.e. allowing users to access resources in any of the participating libraries though a single, uniform interface.

There are several aspects to the project approach, as follows:

  • Personalised user services, based on tools for document delivery, current awareness services and user profiling, as well as enhanced techniques for knowledge navigation, are being developed. Other areas of investigation include access management and accountability facilities.
  • A demonstrator and a test bed for license agreements with publishers and information providers, and for models of use of digital library services, will be created.
  • Extensive studies will develop new insights on user behaviour by establishing long-lasting contacts with end users throughout the project.
  • DECOMATE II Software will be tested at several European test sites to gain extensive knowledge of best practice (for results and installation) and to gain knowledge on the costs and real effort incurred with the goal of identifying realistic exploitation scenarios after the project ends.
  • Standards and modularity - The project is based on relevant open standards (e.g. HTTP, Z39.50, SQL, ODBC) and is designed in a modular, generic way to allow for system operation in different environments.
  • The system will run in a WWW environment using client-server and agent-oriented architecture. The system development methodology uses prototyping principles.

Key issues

The main key issues involved are:

  • Licenses, content definition and acquisition.
  • Advanced access to information and to multiple distributed databases.
  • Current awareness services.
  • Access control, accounting and document delivery.
  • User behaviour.

Impact and results

Expected benefits are the better usage of scientific electronic material in an educational environment independent of the geographical location of the user through improved accessibility. User will have access to a wide range of information resources and be able to choose between different levels of copyright and payment requirements.
The project will result in a visible example of interconnected library services, integrating various functions to provide a full-scale virtual library service to end-users.


The main deliverables, not all of which are for public release, include:

  • Technical design: Access, Document Delivery and Accounting
  • Technical design: Current Awareness
  • Technical design: Core system
  • User behaviour study report
  • Services demonstrator and software
  • Annual and Final project reports

Additional information is available from the contact below and from the project web site:
DECOMATE II website .

A public version of the Decomate II Baseline Release is available at:


Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
Tilburg University Library 5000 LE Tilburg NL
Title, First Name, Name Mr. Hans GELEIJNSE Address: P.O.BOX 90153
E-mail 1: (email removed) E-mail 2:

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
European University Institute IT A
SilverPlatter Information UK A
London School of Economics UK P
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona ES P
Elsevier Science NL X
Kluwer Academic Publishers NL X
Swets & Zeitlinger NL X
Universite Libre de Bruxelles BE X
Universiteit Maastricht (UM) NL X
Erasmus University Rotterdam NL X
  • User requirements specification;

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